Vicky Kaushal tries to shine in 'Bhoot: Part One - The Haunted Ship' but the only thing to make you jump off the seat is a tub of popcorn.
Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar, Ashutosh Rana, Meher Vij
Director: Bhanu Pratap Singh
Duration: One hour 57 minutes
Critics Rating: 2/5
When an abandoned and dilapidated ship called the SeaBird mysteriously runs aground on the shores of Mumbai, one man is assigned to close the case. But the sinister stories surrounding the ship may have more truth to them than he previously thought.
In Dharma's 40 years of existence, Bhanu Pratap Singh's Bhoot is the first time that the production house has attempted the horror genre and throughout the film, I appreciate Karan Johar and his team for their effort (they changed the Dharma Production introduction reel too!). However, from where I stand, being a lover of everything spooky, Bhoot dramatically fails on delivering on the promise.
The start of the film is quite chilling and as the narrative moves forwards Bhanu Pratap Singh keeps the audiences hooked with flashes of the past, explaining SeaBird's history and how it turned into a dreaded haunted ship, all while projecting the trauma of his lead character that Vicky Kaushal delivers perfectly. Knowing and solving Sea Bird’s mystery deaths gives Prithvi’s (Vicky's) life a sense of purpose.
Vicky portrays the character of a man filled with guilt and newfound mission with brave honesty but even that doesn't stop the film from bombing, especially after the interval. The supporting cast consisting of Bhumi Pednekar as Prithvi’s wife (who has a five minute screen time) and Ashutosh Rana’s character seems rushed for anyone to take it seriously.
In one of the scenes that made me jump off my seat and laugh (bad rep for a horror film), Ashutosh Rana, who plays professor Joshi can be seen moving around with what looks like an old voltmeter to chase away the ghost and chant mantras at them which (not) surprisingly do not seem to work.
The film does have its share of well-timed jump scares, alarming background scores, but the lack of seamlessness in computer graphics (CGI) and the overdose of ghost makeup kills your vibe as an audience member. The make-up ends up making the characters look unintentionally funny, rather than scary.
While the film’s runtime is almost two hours, the narrative seems dragged and incomplete, just long foreplay for predictive results.
For a horror film, Bhoot: Part One - The Haunted Ship has a few wins but it still falls short of sending chills down your spine. The only thing you get while getting out of the theatre is a few spooks with a straight face on the side.
Watch it for Vicky Kaushal as he breathes life into the character he plays, gets better with every film, however, it would be easier to go ahead and watch Uri: The Surgical Strike again. At least then your 'josh!' would be high.